What Goes Into an Appraisal?

Purchasing a house is the most serious transaction some of us may ever make. It doesn't matter if a main residence, a second vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.

You're likely to be familiar with the parties having a role in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the transaction is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital required to fund the exchange. The title company makes sure that all requirements of the transaction are completed and that a clear title passes from the seller to the purchaser.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the real estate is worth the amount being paid? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased estimate of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Blue Ridge Appraisal Co., L.L.C. will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

To ascertain an accurate status of the property, it's our duty to first complete a thorough inspection. We must physically view features, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure they really are present and are in the shape a typical buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property has not been misrepresented and document the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.

Following the inspection, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.

Replacement Cost

Here, the appraiser uses information on local construction costs, the cost of labor and other elements to calculate how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This estimate commonly sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used predictor of value.

Sales Comparison

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the residents of that area. Then, the appraiser looks up recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the home in question. By assigning a dollar value to certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or extra storage space, we add or subtract from each comparable's sales price so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject property.

  • For example, if the comparable has an extra half bath that the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of that half bath from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject property has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A valid estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Blue Ridge Appraisal Co., L.L.C., we are experts when it comes to knowing the value of real estate features in Staunton and Staunton City County neighborhoods. This approach to value is commonly awarded the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate purchase.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes applied when a neighborhood has a reasonable number of rental properties. In this scenario, the amount of revenue the real estate yields is factored in with other rents in the area for comparable properties to derive the current value.

Reconciliation

Combining information from all applicable approaches, the appraiser is then ready to stipulate an estimated market value for the property at hand. Note: While this amount is probably the strongest indication of what a property is worth, it probably will not be the price at which the property closes. Depending on the specific situations of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.But the appraised value is typically employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. Here's what it all boils down to, an appraiser from Blue Ridge Appraisal Co., L.L.C. will guarantee you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make wise real estate decisions.

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